Claire Coutinho links with Surrey FE Colleges
On Friday 26 May 2023, Claire Coutinho was welcomed at East Surrey College to meet with CEO’s and Principals from Surrey FE Colleges where they discussed the key role they all play in the skills agenda.
Colleges face many challenges in the delivery of the skills agenda, so being able to bring this directly to the table of Claire Coutinho, MP for East Surrey and Parliamentary Under – Secretary of State for Children, Families and Wellbeing has been a positive step forward.
Senior Leaders from East Surrey College, NESCOT and Brooklands discussed the role FE Colleges play in the skills agenda and how, only through collaborations such as this and ones with wider organisations such as Surrey Chambers of Commerce (leading the Local Skills Improvement Plan for Surrey), Coast to Capital and EM3 Local Enterprise Partnerships, everyone can work towards the same end goal – supporting all students with their education and training.
Discussions covered Level 3 qualification reform; funding rates for apprenticeships and study programmes which have no increases planned but costs are rising for colleges; the huge disparity between school pay and FE pay; how we continue to support students with higher and SEN development needs, which the colleges play a vital part in.
CEO & Principal of East Surrey College, Lindsay Pamphilon said ‘It is important we continue to build relationships between Colleges and the Government so that our voices are heard from the ground. The meeting with Claire today has been a great opportunity for us all to raise our concerns so we can all continue to work together to build the right education offering for all students.’
Christine Ricketts, CEO & Principal of Brooklands College added, ‘I would like to thank Claire Coutinho MP for her time today and for listening. The Surrey FE Principals collectively, have a shared purpose to be responsive to the skills agenda and to shape the future for young people and adults across the Surrey landscape.’
CEO & Principal of NESCOT, Julie Kapsalis said ‘The Surrey Colleges are committed to working together to benefit learners and employers in the county – addressing and anticipating skills needs. We welcome Claire’s support and especially her work to champion wellbeing and learners with additional needs.’
We thank Claire Coutinho for participating in the discussions and look forward to strengthening our relationships in the future.